Total commitment from growing Laois business

Total commitment from growing Laois business

The doom and gloom merchants will always be with us.  If the glass isn’t half empty well then it’s completely empty.

Thankfully there are many Laois businesses that show up the pessimists for what they are; losers.

Take  Ray Wilkins and Darren Kavanagh were made redundant in 2010 and 2011 respectively.  Did the unemployed lift engineer and sheet metal worker join the ‘half empty brigade’?   Not a chance.  The sports fanatics came up with the idea of a sports merchandising business.

Total Giftz receiving grant assistance from Laois Partnership recently.

Total Giftz receiving grant assistance from Laois Partnership recently.

With just €80.00 between them they sourced some samples.  Those samples were then sold to generate cash flow and let the two Laois residents see if there really was a market out there for their products.

With more research and a six-month ‘Start your own Business’ FETAC Level 5 course under their belts plus a ‘Digital Marketing’ course successfully completed the men began selling more and soon had their website developed.

All this time the enterprising pair overcame obstacle after obstacle. They desperately needed funding to buy more equipment but for a whole year their noses were rubbed raw as door after door was slammed in their faces. Eventually grant aid was sourced from the very helpful Laois Partnership.

Ray and Darren soon were piling up award after award from the aPREMtice competition to being finalists in the Irish Start Up awards in 2013.  TV appearances followed such as on TV3’s ‘The Morning Show’ and on Dragon’s Den. Their business was profiled in both the ‘Sunday Business Post’ and ‘The Star’ newspapers.

Today after years of toil and heartache Ray and Darren are both riding the crest of a marketing and business wave.  And all from €80.00. They know only too well that the real work only begins now in their endeavour to make their business bigger and better.